Missouri Minute: Grain Belt Express gets green light; Joint venture scores $712 million contract

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As you nosh on your morning bagel and coffee, read about a nine-figure construction deal in St. Louis, a newly famous barbecue joint in Kansas City and the return of the Grain Belt Express, among other big news of the day.

Stay alert

Grain Belt Express gets green light 
The Missouri Public Service Commission approved the project on Wednesday, reversing its two past decisions to reject the 780-mile wind power transmission line. (Kansas City Star)

Joint venture scores $712 million NGA headquarters contract
Next NGA West JV, a joint venture of five firms including St. Louis-based McCarthy Holdings and Black & Veatch of Kansas City, will design and build the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s new western headquarters in St. Louis. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Northwest Missouri towns evacuated amid flood
A levee breach has forced a mandatory evacuation of the town of Craig, and most residents have fled Lewis and Clark Village. (Associated Press)

Billion-dollar real estate startup eyes expansion to Missouri cities
San Francisco-based Opendoor has raised an additional $300 million to fuel its debut in new U.S. markets including St. Louis and Kansas City. (San Francisco Business Times)

Missouri bill would limit class-action lawsuits
Senate Bill 7, which would restrict the ability for multiple plaintiffs to sue jointly, borrows language from the recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling in the Johnson & Johnson talc case. (Columbia Missourian)

Taxes likely to go up as St. Louis County property values rise
The St. Louis County Assessor estimates that home values went up 15 percent across the county last year, compared to a 9.5 percent increase in 2017. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Say that again

“I don’t think I’ve really experienced anything like Kansas. I don’t think there’s been anything that’s matched that in the SEC.”

Aric Jarvis, a former guest service manager at Columbia’s Courtyard Marriott, said that the University of Missouri’s opponents in the Southeastern Conference haven’t driven fan traffic for MU sports like the University of Kansas used to. Contrary to economic expectations, the SEC’s boost to Columbia tourism has been lukewarm, the Columbia Missourian reports.

Go figure

3.2 percent

That was Missouri’s unemployment rate for February, which was lower than the national average for the 31st consecutive month. The state’s payrolls decreased slightly, though. The seasonally adjusted jobs estimate came in at 2,898,600, down by 800 from January.

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The Missouri Women’s Council is showcasing an “Outstanding Women of Missouri” exhibit in the state capitol to celebrate Women’s History Month.

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Jones Bar-B-Q

The Kansas City barbecue establishment entered the national spotlight last Friday when Netflix released the third season of its hit show “Queer Eye.” The show’s “Fab Five” spent the week with the restaurant’s co-owners, sisters Deborah Jones and Mary Jones Mosley, transforming their barbecue stand and personal lives, The Kansas City Star reports.

Word to the wise


Kansas lawmakers are advancing a plan to expand KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program, to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The bill awaits a final vote Thursday in the Kansas House before moving on to the Senate, KCUR reports. Missouri’s western neighbor would join 36 other states that have approved Medicaid expansion, a key piece of the Affordable Care Act.

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